Colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening in Greece
What is a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is an endoscopic procedure that allows your gastroenterologist to look at the inner lining of your large intestine, namely the colon. The endoscopist will look at your colon via a thin and flexible tube called the colonoscope.
Colonoscopy helps find colon polyps, tumors, diverticula, hemorrhoids, and areas of inflammation, e.g. inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis). It is also performed when there is overt or occult blood loss or low hemoglobin (anemia) to identify the source of bleeding.
Colonoscopy can also be used as a screening test to check for colorectal cancer or growths (polyps) in the colon or rectum that might progress to colorectal cancer over time. During the colonoscopy, tissue samples (biopsies) can be obtained and polyps can be removed.
What is a screening colonoscopy?
A screening colonoscopy is a preventive endoscopic method to detect growths (polyps) at an early stage in individuals without symptoms and without a family history of colorectal cancer, who are over 50 years of age. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, screening colonoscopy starts at an earlier age. Please consult with your GP for the age you should undergo your first screening colonoscopy.
Why should I have a screening colonoscopy in Greece instead of my own country?
Greece is an EU country and the quality of education of medical doctors is very high. Moreover, board-certified Gastroenterologist Dr. Chris Zavos has been trained in one of the finest Academic Hospitals in the Netherlands and is now performing colonoscopies in one of the biggest private hospitals in Thessaloniki, Greece, using the latest high-tech endoscopic equipment. All patients are given full sedation with propofol, which means that you will be sleeping and the colonoscopy will be totally painless for you.
Many insurance companies do not cover the cost of a screening colonoscopy but only of a diagnostic colonoscopy (i.e. when you have specific symptoms, not when you do it for prevention of colorectal cancer). This means that it is probably very expensive for you to do the colonoscopy in your own country, especially if you live in the United States of America.
Moreover, Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. Greece's unique characteristics, history, culture, natural beauty, thousands of islands, rare biodiversity, mild climate, Mediterranean gastronomy, its infrastructure and potential for attracting many new forms of tourism enable it to meet the requirements of medical tourism.
Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece, located in the North of the country, and has an International airport. If you decide to visit Dr. Zavos in Thessaloniki, you can combine your summer vacations in nearby Chalkidiki sunny sea resorts and your colonoscopy for a reasonable price compared with your country, even though you will not have the coverage from your insurance company. Colonoscopy prices in Greece are very affordable.
You can call Dr. Zavos at (0030)-6976596988 to inform you of the latest prices and provide you with any additional details you may require. Or, you can fill in the inquiry form on this site and Dr. Zavos will email you back to answer you all your questions.
Bowel preparation will be done once you arrive in Greece and Dr. Zavos will give you full instructions how to cleanse your bowel. You will not need to remain at the hospital over night; colonoscopies are performed on an outpatient basis.
You may read further patient Q&A information on colonoscopy provided by the American College of Gastroenterology at the following link.
You may also watch the following informative BBC program on colonoscopy, which will help you feel relaxed and confident that the procedure will be fine!